The second generation

The second generation of computers emerged during the1950s and were characterised by the use of transistor components, which were also known for their use in radios - transistor radios - during this time. They were a significant improvement on valves, for they were considerably smaller, faster, more reliable and less expensive. Transistor components then were huge by comparison with the current generation. However, they were a step-up from the valve generation because second-generation machines were much faster, smaller and had greater memory capacities. It was during this period that the digital computer were first being used for business applications, such as producing the weekly payroll and other mundane tasks which, hitherto, would have been done manually. Examples include:

♦ Leo - a computer system built in the early 1950s by the Lyons Tea Company. It was the first computer ever to be used for company data processing tasks.

♦ The IBM 701 EPDM - this was the first mainframe computer system built by the computer giant IBM .

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